PhantomCover“Janet Sternburg has found the perfect metaphor for the tragedy of pain and loss, the ultimate inevitabilities of life.” Bill Moyers

“A phantom limb is flesh become memory… Sternburg uses the phenomenon as a metaphor for the loss of our loved ones, who remain intimately with us even after they’re gone.” Los Angeles Times Book Review

Phantom Limb: Meditation on Memory is a wise and courageous memoir that moves between past and present, chronicling an adult daughter’s journey through the final years of her parents’ lives. A story of discovering love through adversity as well as an inquiry into contemporary neurology and spiritual life, Phantom Limb is a moving meditation on the struggle to make peace with physical and emotional ghosts of the past. Janet Sternburg writes with such warmth and honesty that loss itself becomes luminous: “This is the grace of the last years, the children coming to understand the contradictions in their parents, not to reconcile them but encompass them in a larger love.”


More Praise for Phantom Limb:

“A mosaic of understanding, reconciliation, and ultimately acceptance.” The Bloomsbury Review

“At a time when many people are writing and publishing memoirs, Sternburg’s Phantom Limb is uncommon. The book is a meditation on memory. The author experiences difficulties and writes about them, but she does so without a sense of victimhood or self-pity. Instead, she tells a tender story of the expansiveness of love.” The Jewish Week

“Feelings shared by countless others…luminously detailed recollections…moments of consoling happiness.” Kirkus Reviews

“…part moving account of greater love in the face of her mother’s approaching death, part medical inquiry into neurology, and part spiritual meditation on the struggles and sufferings that living visits on each of us. Sternburg shows that emotional and spiritual integration is possible…”  Booklist